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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2011;47(5):359-63. doi: 10.1159/000337727. Epub 2012 May 9.

Advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the practice of pediatric neurosurgery: a clinical report.

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  • 1University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, USA. pedneurosurgery @



This report addresses the clinical experience of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery with dedicated nurse practitioners and a physician assistant (PA) in outpatient and inpatient health care delivery, including surgical activities, as well as participation with the neurosurgery call schedule, quality improvement, teaching, and clinical research activities.


We report on the activities of allied health personnel in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery for the purpose of identifying the current and future role for health care delivery, related to the care of the child with a neurosurgical condition. This addresses the participation of 2 advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and a PA in the outpatient and inpatient setting, call schedule, interventions in and out of the operating room, quality improvement sessions, continuing medical education, clinical research, clinical databases, presentations in meetings, teaching, and scientific publications.


This report covers the period from September 2003 (when the division was initiated) to February 2011. The division currently consists of 3 pediatric neurosurgeons, 2 ARNPs and 1 PA. The ARNPs/PA have participated in the pediatric neurosurgery clinic held 5 half-days per week, the monthly multidisciplinary clinics (Spinal Defects Clinic, Pediatric Neurosciences Clinic, and the Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Center working group), and inpatient care, as well as assisting in operative interventions. They participated in the on-call schedule and attended the monthly quality improvement sessions of the division in addition to presenting papers and topics in the monthly continuing medical education session. The PA maintained a computerized database of operative interventions, coding, morbidities, and outcomes. All were involved in teaching activities. They prepared preoperative and postoperative orders and practice guidelines, and they were also involved in the preparation of the database of institutional clinical research projects. They have presented posters in a total of 9 national and 2 international meetings, and have co-authored 8 manuscripts published in peer review journals.


The ARNP/PA members have been active participants in all functions of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. They have facilitated the work of the faculty in day-to-day activities and enhanced the scope of divisional activities, providing a team approach for the care of the patients, families, and caretakers.

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